America deals ED massive blow

THE United States has dealt President Emmerson Mnangagwa a massive body blow, tabling a raft of very challenging electoral reform demands that include a reconstitution of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) with the involvement of the opposition.

By Everson Mushava

The US also demanded the flushing out of military personnel in the electoral body and the prohibition of soldiers from campaigning for the ruling party.

Mnangagwa rose to leadership on the back of a military coup and opposition parties have already raised a red flag over the role of the military in trying to influence the outcome of the forthcoming polls.

While Sadc, the African Union and the United Kingdom have warmed up to the new dispensation, the US has extended sanctions on the country and promised to remove them if Mnangagwa lives up to his pledge to hold free and fair elections.

And in the latest development, that will likely strain relations between Harare and Washington, the US Senate foreign relations committee, in typical opposition rhetoric, wants Mnangagwa’s administration to weed out military personnel from Zec and confine soldiers to barracks.

Senators Chris Coons and Jeff Flake on Thursday introduced a Bill giving Mnangagwa pre-conditions for the removal of sanctions.

Coons said the new legislation updates the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (Zidera) passed in 2001.

The demands come after the opposition under the umbrella of the MDC Alliance have released 10 similar electoral reform demands that Mnangagwa should implement or face street protests.

“After 37 years of suffering under the repressive rule of [former President] Robert Mugabe, the people of Zimbabwe should be excited about the possibility of a brighter future.

“To ensure conditions throughout the country improve, the international community should insist on concrete actions from the new government of Zimbabwe before lifting sanctions and renewing investment in the country.

“This Bill is intended to outline the US Senate’s expectations of the steps President Mnangagwa and other leaders should take,” the Senators said in their notice.

The US wants the reconstitution of Zec with members “nominated by all political parties represented in the Parliament of Zimbabwe, and permitted to entirely carry out the functions assigned to it in section 239 of Zimbabwe’s 2013 Constitution in an entirely independent manner”.

“The defence forces of Zimbabwe are neither permitted to actively participate in campaigning for any candidate nor to intimidate voters, and must verifiably and credibly uphold their constitutionally mandated duty to respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons and be non-partisan in character,” the demands read.

“International observers, including from the US, the AU, the Sadc and the EU are permitted to observe the entire electoral process, both prior to, on, and following voting day, including by monitoring polling stations and counting centres, and are able to independently operate in a manner enabling them to access and analyse vote tallying, tabulation, and the transmission and content of voting results.”

The US also requires from Mnangagwa the publishing of the biometric voter registration roll endorsed by all registered political parties in all media platforms.

“Candidates are allowed free and full access to State media, which must afford equal time and coverage to all registered parties, in an impartial manner, and must be able to campaign in an environment that is free from intimidation and violence,” the demands read.

“Civil society organisations should freely and independently be able to carry out voter and civic education, observing as well as conducting a parallel voter tabulation exercise at all levels.”

The US is also demanding that Mnangagwa admit that human rights have been breached and set in motion a process of healing the country as well as order an immediate inquiry into the disappearance of prominent human rights activists, including Patrick Nabanyama, Itai Dzamara and Paul Chizuze.

“It is the sense of Congress that the government of Zimbabwe and the Southern African Development Community should enforce the Sadc Tribunal rulings from 2007 to 2010, including disputes involving employment, commercial, and human rights cases surrounding dispossessed Zimbabwean commercial farmers and agricultural companies,” the Bill further read.

Zimbabwe has also been ordered to take concrete, tangible steps towards good governance, including respect for opposition, rule of law and human rights.

Zanu PF spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo declined to comment on the US demands.

“We can’t respond to newspaper reports, the US should write to us, we will respond accordingly,” he said.

MDC-T leader, Nelson Chamisa’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka said what the Americans have said vindicated the opposition party.

“What they said is what us basically enshrined in our Plan and Environment for a Credible Election document with our 10 talking issue for electoral reforms.

“We feel vindicated that the document we have launched 48 hours ago, some people in the world are speaking our language,” he said.

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  1. Thinker Linker

    Comment…if America was an honest broker they should have called for ZANU pf’s input.They cant say this to Russia or Iran.

    1. You Zanu PF people are used to rigging, force villagers to do things your way without their will. You think you own people. No. People belong to God. This a good path way to remove Zanu PF.

      1. ZANU against US thats war my bro. we are not going to elections against USA. we need their investments yes but not as a junior patner. If they dont want to come as partners TO HELL with them. the world is big. we cant sell our sovereignty. we are not an extension of Washington. Chamisa go and get elected in any of the USA states. from now own i know who the real MDC is. #EDHasMyVote.

        1. You dumb bro like too dumb

        2. Listen. The USA is an empire, and every country- in one way or another- is economically tethered to the USA. If Zimbabwe truly wants to grow they will need the US on their side. Additionally, the USA’s requests are in no way partisan. In fact, they adhere to the highest tenets of democracy. ZEC is an independent organization, and the way members have been chosen is sleazy. The legislature is the most representative branch of government, and it should have every right to select members of an INDEPENDENT organization. The army needs to go back to the barracks, we all know that. The USA has asked for fair reforms, and i am proud of them!

    2. ED is using the Army to Kill , intimidate and harass the Zimbabwe they are supposed to protect. THE ZNA should never side or assist any political party. Their involvement in Zanu PF activities that running it and campaigning for it is very much worrisome. Presently over 10 000 soldiers are heavily deployed in the rural areas. Why?.

  2. America can go to hell, it cannot dictates to us how to run our country. This nonsense.

    1. It hurts haa you now feel the pitch. Good. This support from the Americans is exactly what we need. So THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE CAN SPEAK WHAT GOD IS SAYING. GOD WHO REMOVED MR MUGABE IS DETERMINED TO REMOVE ZANU PF OUT OF THE WAY OF THE PROSPERITY OF THE ZIMBABWEANS

      1. AMericans speak for Americans not for us zimbabweans. thats totally Bullshit!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Absolutely Nonsense

        1. i smell a bad rat here…asi pane vanga varikuplanner kurigger
          because i dont see any reason to panic for here..kungopiwa advice yekut create a level playing ground which you can either take it or leave it at your own peril.

    2. i think something wrong on you, seek your doctor

    3. Munangagwa can not afford to take such a stance. he is a product of a coup’ and the Americans know that very well. Zimbabwe at the moment is vulnerable to a military intervention by the international players using the coup” as a justification. A wise Zimbabwean at this moment in time should encourage dialogue between all relaxant stakeholder as a means to an end.

    4. Iwe ndiwe nonsense, u allow the pple,s vote to be stolen by Zanu like what happened before when results were announced after six weeks,,majaira manje this time hakuna,,,,watsamwa ka maudzwa chokwadi,,kkkkkkkkk

    5. america is not dictating anything,this is also enshrined in MDC Alliance’s Plan and Environment for a Credible Election document. so if america shld go to hell, ok fine then lets listen to calls from our own indigenous country men

    6. you still have old age mentality bro.Wake up in that blanket of madness and see the real world.

    7. what america is requiring are the same democratic principles which Zimbabweans need which the dictator Mugabe couldn’t offer and Zanu cant do that because real democracy will bring them down. If ED manages to meet those demands then its definitely over Zanu pf period.

    8. I am dumbfounded by this response? The Americans are simply saying honour provisions of your constitution for them to recognise the government of the day. You might as well say go to hell to the British and the Commonwealth who ED’s exclusive team is courting? Why is the ruling party not aligning the country’s laws to the Constitution? If you can answer that coherently and not emotionally then maybe we can start listening to you otherwise a country like America with a GDP of 20 Trillion USD is in charge and you and the world cannot do anything about, that is the inconvenient truth? Look at what is happening to Palestines???

  3. Strange political outfits, we have, that are caressed and consoled, and feel vindicated, by the pronouncements of a foreign senate, tens of thousands of kilometres away. Sanctions on Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans should not be removed until opposition parties are empowered enough to be able to win elections. Is this the kind of political parties that need a Zimbabwean to vote for them?
    Is this not trash, rubble and refuse best only for the political dustbin?

    1. Every time an evil leader would rule Israel in the bible. People suffered but God would have mercy upon it by rising a leader who was loved by people. Saul tried to keep people from loving David but God rose other kings from other nations to remove Saul from the path of success of David. So is what America is doing. So that we can freely express the kind of leader we want. If Pres ED tries to come in the way of the Zimbabweans of freely expressing the leader we want, he will end up like Mugabe too.

    2. but isnt the zimbabwean yu mean hv always been voting for the opposition

    3. You know you are lying? I and my tribe will not vote for failures and people who do not act according to Ubuntu or Hunhu traditions of Africans like the ruling elites of Zimbabwe. If you do not know what Ubuntuor Hunhu means go and research.

  4. If Zimbabwe wants to belong to the international community and harvest from abundant possibilities it has no choice but to adhere to those requirements. If ED indeed wants to open Zimbabwe for business he has no choice but to agree sovereignity is not a currency. Mugabe’s 37yr rule has showed all and sundry what will happen if Mangagwa ignores the Americans. Mnangagwa is fully aware of the desperate need to legitmise his reign

    1. It was not Mugabe’s 37 year rule but the rule of Zanu PF which is ruling today, he was only the head with the support of ED and others except those who rebelled like Nkosana, Simba etc. or those who told it like it was who have since departed because of the intolerance of Zanu PF, party yeropa, another inconvenient truth that people should not vote for.

  5. Zanu PF will never develop this country with the kind of oppressive minds and behavior they have. So Pres ED expect to get investors to come when they can’t even allow us to express ourselves. Inga he said, ‘The voice of the people is the voice of God.’ Why is he now running away from what he said.

    1. Exactly my point, he must just implement the reforms as agreed by Zimbabweans in the constitution, whats his problem. All the opposition is demanding are reforms as dictated in the constitution, a constitution which was put together by Zimbabweans and adopted as law. So who is ED to deny us that, it means he is hiding something. Let elections be free and fair, if ED is popular he is gonna take it, period. Mukutyeiko vanhu ve ZANU.

  6. foundation of a conflict …… first step towards prophesy fulfillment

  7. Free and fair zanu pf will never win an election… never in a thousands of years it has been too brutal to the people..we no longer need zanu pf..zanu pf inodiwa nevarikudya chete

  8. We are very good people but we wont go out of our way to prove it.The americans can go hang.2 senators deciding the fate of Zimbambweans that is not possible.Their own elections were disputed and are still being investigated .They cannot be champions of democracy.

    1. While Trump may not be liked by many Americans he is still President and if he keeps going the way he is going the Americans will remove him, such is the nature of mature democracy. With Zanu PF this has not happened for the past 38 years and the party still needs to go on in power but this time they underestimated the forces of good by making a non-coup coup, such that they are desperate for legitimacy. For as long as ZEC and other institutions are militarised there is no such thing as free and fair elections and therefore no legitimacy for ED’s team of economic and social development failures and therefore the prolonging of the suffering as never seen before of Zimbabweans.


  10. HANZI WE HAVE BEEN VINDICATED NA LUKE TAMBORINYOKA. Really???? I dont thinks so, because it seems that was the reason Biti and Chamisa took a trip to America to update their masters about their wishes to be honoured for sanctions to be removed. For Chamisa and Biti to get into power Zimbabweans have to suffer so that the blame goes to the current regime. It goes again to the issue of level playing field. With the sanctions in place they wont be a level playing field. For elections to be declared free and fair it has to be tilted in favour of the opposition. Saka hapana deal apa. America wont change it bully tactics. A leopard remains a leopard either with its spots or without them.

  11. the fruits of chamisa and Biti trip to USA ,ED will not take such nonsense

    1. Free and fair elections are a nonsense to ED? if he wnts to prove that truly this is a new dispensation this is the time.Remove all military involvemnt in zim politcs. cleanse the country of the Coup.

  12. The USA must no remove sanctions or Restrictive measures until Emmerson Mnangagwa stops wearing that garish scarf of his. That really is idiotic.

    1. musona dzokera buhera

      it is patriotic symbol you douche…

  13. this is the moment i think Uncle Bob was right we are not Americans why should we be told wat to do by American as if we have any imput pama elections avo. to hell with Americans we do not need them lets Go RUSSIA


    1. wow you are too dumb bro

  14. F*ck you,dzakutsaku Musona.

  15. Want to hear what Mr Mugabe will say about this kkkkkk

  16. politics dzemuZim dzospaka kkkkkkkkk

  17. An old dog can not taught new skills

  18. kingsley mkata aphiri

    it’s high time Zimbabweans realise between democracy and dictatorship. America is only repeating what many have already said. it’s up to them to do the right thing.

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